Oh the wonders of watermelon!

(Photo courtesy of Stephenie Dunlap)

Summer is officially here and let me just say that it’s fabulous to feel that warm sun again. What comes to mind when you think about summer and picnics and family gatherings? Watermelon? Me too! Watermelon is definitely one of my favorite snacks during the months of summer. It’s juicy and sweet and splashes my plate with color. I love it! My kids love it too! Brystol, my middle child, could take down an entire watermelon in one sitting if I’d let him. Seedless, seeded, yellow or pink. So what’s the deal with this delicious treat? Well, let me tell you…
 
-Watermelon is FULL of water! According to many sources, watermelon is over 90% water. WHAT? The water content and the small amounts of fiber helps to reduce constipation and promote regularity.
 
-Are ya thirsty? Watermelon is not only rich in water but also electrolytes. It is great for rehydrating the body! Add some ice cubes and watermelon slices in the old mixer and ta-da, a most rejuvenating summertime drink. 
 
-“One cup of watermelon will provide 17% of vitamin A, 21% of vitamin C, 2% of iron and 1% of calcium (according to your daily recommended intake). Watermelon also contains thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, choline, lycopene and betaine.” (Medical News Today, Megan Ware RDN LD) 
 
-Speaking of lycopene, watermelon is now said to have more lycopene than a raw tomato. Lycopene is a carotenoid that gives watermelon it’s beautiful color. “The lycopene in watermelon is a well-documented inhibitor of many inflammatory processes, including the production of pro-inflammatory messaging molecules, the expression of enzymes like cyclo-oxygenase and lipoxygenase that can lead to increased inflammatory response, and the activity of molecular signaling agents like nuclear factor kappa B (NFkB). (Simply said, watermelon can act as an anti-inflammatory). Lycopene is also a well-known antioxidant, with the ability to neutralize free radical molecules.” (George Mateljan Foundation)
 
There are many other health claims for watermelon…
-a combat for cancer 
-a natural Viagra
-soother of sore muscles
-improver of cardiovascular health
-skin and hair rejuvenator 
-an aid in asthma prevention
 
Whatever reason you choose to eat watermelon be sure to check out this site… watermelon.org
Yes, watermelon is so fantastic that it has it’s own website. Recipes, carvings, facts and more. A magnificent treat for a magnificent summer.

“When one has tasted watermelon he knows what the angels eat.
-Mark Twain 

Happy summer snacking y’all. 

(Photo courtesy of Stephenie Dunlap)